With unemployment rates at historic highs, how to create more jobs in the country is a matter of high contention. Another issue that sparks controversy is just what role the government should play in job creation. Will they help most by stepping in, or backing down? Democratic views on jobs are based around the principle that more governmental regulation and support can help create an economy where more jobs will exist and more Americans can find full-time employment. They believe in providing aid to the long-term unemployed, raising the minimum wage to help those that do have jobs make a solid living, discouraging outsourcing jobs through new tax policies, and protecting union rights and the rights of low income workers. Together, Democrats believe that these initiatives can increase employment rates and heal the American economy.
Democrats and Unemployment Relief
Democrats believe not only in expanding the job market, but in aiding those who are looking for work while they seek to improve their situation. The Obama administration created the American Jobs Act to help those that were unemployed during the recession. Key components of this act included payroll tax relief, tax credits for businesses that hire veterans, an extension of unemployment insurance that also included reforms like work-sharing, and support for unemployed workers looking to become entrepreneurs. It also included a “Bridge to Work” initiative, which was designed to help the long-term unemployed reconnect with the labor force. They would be able to receive retraining and therefore have an easier time getting rehired after their long period of unemployment.
Minimum Wage and College Tuition
Democrats believe that all Americans deserve equal opportunity to receive the education they need to pursue their career of choice, and that once they are in that career they deserve a minimum wage that will allow them to live comfortably. Therefore, Democrats seek to expand Pell Grants in able to provide financial aid to more students, letting them enter the workforce with less debt. They also strive to make college tuition tax deductible. Democrats hope to raise minimum wage to an amount that will allow anyone that is employed full time to make a living wage. In theory, Democrats hope that this will allow minimum wage employees more money to spend on items outside of the bare essentials. This will increase demand in various industries, therefore creating a need for more employees to fulfill these demands. Democrats believe that this can therefore create a self-sustaining circle of economic growth.
Democrats, like Republicans, believe in promoting international competition within the American economy. For this reason, they believe in “fair trade agreements that raise standards for all workers here and abroad, while making American businesses more competitive.” Them more that the U.S. can compete with other global businesses, the lower the risk of job outsourcing becomes.
Democrats would also like to see tax laws changed to discourage job outsourcing. Many tax laws either directly or indirectly benefit those companies that send jobs overseas. For example, some “deferral policies allow American companies to avoid paying American taxes on the income earned by their foreign subsidiaries.” Democrats hope to eradicate policies such as these to encourage employers to keep jobs in the United States. They also propose to use any savings from such a policy change to “offer tax cuts for companies that produce goods and create jobs here at home.”
Democrats strongly support workers’ rights to organize. They also stand behind many of the quality of life issues that unions fight to protect, such as the forty-hour workweek, overtime requirements, the Davis-Bacon act and the Service Contract act. Democrats have fought to ensure that taxpayer money does not go to companies that violate labor laws, and that unions are supported and given the freedom to combat such problems. Democrats hope to pass a law banning permanent striker replacement workers, and to stiffen penalties for employer interference with the right to organize. These rights apply as much to women, minorities, and immigrants as much as they do to any other Americans. For this reason, Democrats strongly support the rights of these workers and their right to organize as well.
Democrats and Farmers
In order to ensure success for current farmers and for generations of farmers to come, Democrats believe in creating incentives for farmers to conserve soil and improve farming and forestry techniques. This will not only keep the profession of farming sustainable for future generations, but will also increase crop yields. Consequently, prices will rise, and less bailouts will be necessary.
Increase American Manufacturing
Democrats believe that one way to ensure job market growth is to increase American manufacturing. This will both prevent further outsourcing and create new jobs at home. The first step to this would be creating a national manufacturing strategy. Many American manufacturers are currently facing international competitors that benefit from the carefully crafted manufacturing strategies of other countries. These strategies include benefits such as tax incentives, investments in research, skills development initiatives, and support for infrastructure projects in order to help their manufacturers get ahead. By creating and implementing a strong internal manufacturing strategy, Americans would be able to not only overcome these hurdles in foreign trade, but carefully maneuver which imports to allow as well.
The next step to improving American manufacturing is promoting the export of U.S. goods. In order to sell products, manufacturers need access to both domestic and international markets. Access to these markets requires reliable physical and telecommunications infrastructure, enforcement of fair trading rules, and targeted assistance to successfully compete in international markets. Building these infrastructures and creating these initiatives will allow Americans to increase exports and decrease imports, keeping more jobs in the country and creating the need for even more positions.
Aside from preventing further outsourcing, another step that needs to be taken is encouraging businesses to bring American jobs that have been outsourced back to the United States. In order to maintain a strong economy and remain the world’s leader in innovation, we must encourage businesses to move jobs that have been outsourced in the past back to the U.S. where possible, and keep them here. When manufacturing moves overseas, innovation follows.
Much like the Republicans, Democrats see the necessity of training and securing a twenty-first century workforce. American businesses can only remain competitive when they have the trained and educated workers they need, and when they have done so by modern standards. Democrats believe that America must strengthen its education and skills-training programs to make sure workers are getting the preparation and certifications they need. They hope to create programs that will ensure that all those that are trained in high-demand skills have an opportunity to find work and contribute to the economy. This will foster economic growth and hopefully create further demand for more jobs as time goes on.
Women in Jobs
The issue of women in the workforce has been creating controversy for quite some time. To promote workplace equality for women, the House Democrats created When Women Succeed, America Succeeds: An Economic Agenda for Women and Families. The program is “aimed at addressing the economic challenges facing women and working families.” It looks at issues such as women that receive less pay than their male counterparts, the inability to receive paid sick leave, and the lack of access to affordable high quality, affordable child care.
When Women Succeed, America Succeeds combats these problems by ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work, promoting paid sick leave and paid maternity leave, and adequately funding Head Start and implementing President Obama’s Preschool agenda, while also expanding access to affordable high quality child care and increasing the child tax credit. Democrats believe that these policies will not only make our students more competitive in school, but will also give women more opportunities to advance in the workplace and allow families to spend less on child care costs.
- Democratic Party on Jobs – On The Issues
- Growing The Economy, Creating Jobs & Rebuilding The Middle Class – Dems.gov
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